Advent Wreath Prayers: Let in the Light

pink_candle_light_flame_hope adventFirst Sunday in Advent: HOPE
READER ONE: Let in the Light

READER TWO: Psalm 84:11-12
The Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts, blessed is everyone who trusts in you.

READER ONE: Let in the Light
Light the candle of hope

ALL: The following prayer by Dimitri of Rostov or a verse or two from the song I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (United Methodist Hymnal #206)
Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life, and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins,
kindling my heart with the flame of your love.
Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there,
for you alone are my King and my Lord.
Amen.

Second Sunday in Advent: LOVE
READER ONE: Let in the Light

READER TWO: John 3:16-21
Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

READER ONE: Let in the Light
Light the candles of hope and love

ALL: The following prayer by Dimitri of Rostov or a verse or two from the song I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (United Methodist Hymnal #206)
Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life, and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins,
kindling my heart with the flame of your love.
Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there,
for you alone are my King and my Lord.
Amen.

Third Sunday in Advent: JOY
READER ONE: Let in the Light

READER TWO: John 12:46, John 8:12
Jesus said, “I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness… I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

READER ONE: Let in the Light
Light the candles of hope, love and joy

ALL: The following prayer by Dimitri of Rostov or a verse or two from the song I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (United Methodist Hymnal #206)
Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life, and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins,
kindling my heart with the flame of your love.
Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there,
for you alone are my King and my Lord.
Amen.

Fourth Sunday in Advent: PEACE
READER ONE: Let in the Light

READER TWO: 1 Peter 2:9-11
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul.

READER ONE: Let in the Light
Light the candles of hope, love, joy and peace

ALL: The following prayer by Dimitri of Rostov or a verse or two from the song I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (United Methodist Hymnal #206)
Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life, and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins,
kindling my heart with the flame of your love.
Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there,
for you alone are my King and my Lord.
Amen.

Christmas Eve
Part One, at or near the beginning of the service
READER ONE: Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.

An Advent candle is lit as each name for the Messiah is read:
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

ALL: Prayer by Dimitri of Rostov 
Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life, and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins,
kindling my heart with the flame of your love.
Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there,
for you alone are my King and my Lord.
Amen.

Part Two, at the end of the service
READER ONE OR PASTOR
For weeks we’ve been lighting more and more candles on this wreath in preparation to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Tonight we light the final candle, for Jesus, the Light of the World, has come. God has kept the prophetic promise:

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:78-79)

ONE SINGING
I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
United Methodist Hymnal #206, verse 1
Light the Christ Candle during the song

READER ONE OR PASTOR
It’s now our turn. Accept the Light, share Him with others, and carry His peace forth from this place.

The light is passed from person to person as all sing Silent Night (United Methodist Hymnal #239). At the close of Silent Night, sing the following a cappella
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday dear Jesus
Happy Birthday to You

Follow this with the closing Benediction and/or Postlude

Christmas Day or the Sunday after Christmas
READER ONE: Let in the Light

READER TWO: John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him,
and without him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.

READER ONE: Let in the Light
Light the Christ candle

ALL: The following prayer by Dimitri of Rostov or a verse or two from the song I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (United Methodist Hymnal #206)
Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life, and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins,
kindling my heart with the flame of your love.
Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there,
for you alone are my King and my Lord.
Amen.

Epiphany or the Sunday before Epiphany
READER ONE: Let in the Light

READER TWO: Matthew 2:1-2
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”

READER ONE: Let in the Light
Light the Christ Candle

ALL: The following prayer by Dimitri of Rostov or a verse or two from the song I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (United Methodist Hymnal #206)
Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life, and revive me from death.
Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
Come, Flame of divine love, and burn up the thorns of my sins,
kindling my heart with the flame of your love.
Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there,
for you alone are my King and my Lord.
Amen.

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This worship resource emphasizes the classic Advent candle symbols of hope, love, joy and peace. Since the scriptures center on the theme of light, this resource may be used in any liturgical year. The passages come from the NIV or NRSV of the Bible.

This worship resource calls for “more and more candles” to be lit each Sunday of Advent in order to emphasize “more and more light”. (The present and second coming of Christ growing more near as time passes. The celebration of Christ’s first coming at Christmas growing nearer as well). Thus, no candles are lit prior to the service. Some prefer to have the previous weeks’ candles lit prior to the service so only one candle is lit each week, thus adding light to those already lit. Feel free to use whichever method you prefer. Also, feel free to substitute a different prayer or song choice for the congregation at the end of each reading.

You’ll notice only the Christ candle is lit during the season of Christmas, December 25 – January 5. (12 days of Christmas) Some Christians extend this season to January 11, ending it with a celebration of Jesus’ baptism.

Click here for a post discussing the Christian understanding of Advent.
Click here for a brief history of the Advent Wreath.

Advent Wreath Prayers: Let in the Light © 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Advent Wreath Readings: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love

The Advent Wreath in Christ Church Cathedral, Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2010

The Advent Wreath in Christ Church Cathedral, Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2010

First Sunday in Advent: Hope
READER ONE:
Every year we light candles as we prepare for the coming of Christ.
More and more candles, more and more light,
as we watch and wait for Jesus, the Light of the World.

ALL:
God of Promise, come into our darkness.
Renew your hope in us,
for you alone bring life out of death.

READER TWO:
Receive God’s promise of hope from Psalm 33:
The eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.

ALL:
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.

Light the candle of hope

ALL SINGING:
O Little Town of Bethlehem or Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Second Sunday in Advent: Peace
READER ONE:
Every year we light candles as we prepare for the coming of Christ.
More and more candles, more and more light,
as we watch and wait for Jesus, the Light of the World.

ALL:
God of Promise, come into our darkness.
Renew your hope and peace in us,
for you alone bring life out of death.

READER TWO:
Receive God’s promise of peace from Psalm 4:
Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
The LORD will hear when we call to him.

ALL:
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
We will lie down and sleep in peace,
For you alone, O LORD, make us dwell in safety.

Light the candles of hope and peace

ALL SINGING:
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear

Third Sunday in Advent: Joy
READER ONE:
Every year we light candles as we prepare for the coming of Christ.
More and more candles, more and more light,
as we watch and wait for Jesus, the Light of the World.

ALL:
God of Promise, come into our darkness.
Renew your hope and peace and joy in us,
for you alone bring life out of death.

READER TWO:
Receive God’s promise of joy from Psalm 28:
Praise be to the LORD
For he has heard my cry for mercy
The LORD is my strength and my shield

ALL:
My heart trusts in him, and I am helped
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song

Light the candles of hope, peace and joy

ALL SINGING:
Hark the Herald Angels Sing or Angels We Have Heard on High

Fourth Sunday in Advent: Love
READER ONE:
Every year we light candles as we prepare for the coming of Christ.
More and more candles, more and more light,
as we watch and wait for Jesus, the Light of the World.

ALL:
God of Promise, come into our darkness.
Renew your hope, your peace, your joy, your love in us,
for you alone bring life out of death.

READER TWO:
Receive God’s promise of love from Psalm 36:
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
Your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
Your judgments are like the great deep
You save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

ALL:
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

Light the candles of hope, peace, joy and love

ALL SINGING:
Silent Night

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Notes:
This worship resource emphasizes the classic Advent candle symbols of hope, peace, joy and love. Psalms are used for the scripture references so it may be used in any liturgical year. The passages from Psalms come from the NIV or NRSV of the Bible.

This worship resource calls for “more and more candles” to be lit each Sunday in order to emphasize “more and more light”. (The present and second coming of Christ growing more near as time passes. The celebration of Christ’s first coming at Christmas growing nearer as well). Thus, no candles are lit prior to the service. Some prefer to have the previous weeks’ candles lit prior to the service so only one candle is lit each week, thus adding light to those already lit. Feel free to use whichever method you prefer.

Also, feel free to substitute different hymn and song choices following the selection from Psalms. I especially recommend the Advent Wreath Candlelighting Songs by United Methodist pastor Gary L. Lake Dillensnyder found on the General Board of Discipleship Website. Beautiful, modern texts to the familiar hymn tune Trentham (Breathe on Me Breath of God).

Click here for a resource for lighting the Advent Wreath on Christmas Eve.
Click here for a post discussing the Christian understanding of Advent.
Click here for a brief history of the Advent Wreath.

Advent Wreath Readings: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the music, scripture translation, art and the use of this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Christmas Eve- Lighting the Advent Wreath

The following liturgy was compiled for the lighting of the Advent Wreath on Christmas Eve. The first part comes at or near the beginning of the service. The second part comes near the end of service. – Lisa <><

The special property of a flame is that it can kindle another without being diminished. Proverbs teaches that the soul of a person is G-d’s candle. So today – ignite another soul with a word, a message, a look, a touch. You will not be lessened, but enhanced. Move toward the new year with more light. -Rabbi Wolpe

Lighting the Advent Wreath
Part One
READER ONE:
A reading from the prophet Isaiah concerning Jesus the Messiah:

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.

A candle is lit as each name for the Messiah is read:
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 NRSV)

READER TWO
We welcome you O Christ, Light of the World,
Open our hearts and minds to worship you in spirit and in truth.

ALL SINGING
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
United Methodist Hymnal, #196

Part Two
READER ONE OR PASTOR
For weeks we’ve been lighting more and more candles on this wreath in preparation to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Tonight we light the final candle, for Jesus, the Light of the World, has come. God has kept the prophetic promise:

READER TWO
By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:78-79)

ONE SINGING
I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
United Methodist Hymnal #206, verse 1
Light the Christ Candle during the song

READER ONE OR PASTOR
It’s now our turn. Accept the Light, share Him with others, and carry His peace forth from this place

The light is passed from person to person as all sing Silent Night (United Methodist Hymnal #239). At the close of Silent Night, sing the following a cappella
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday dear Jesus
Happy Birthday to You

Follow this with the closing Benediction and/or Postlude

**********
compilation © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the music, scripture translation, art and the use of this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.